The OnePlus 9 was a significant release for OnePlus, emphasizing its partnership with Hasselblad for camera improvements. Here’s an in-depth review of the OnePlus 9:
Launched in 2021, the OnePlus 9 was part of OnePlus’s continued effort to offer flagship-level specifications and features at a competitive price point. The device, alongside its Pro sibling, was particularly marketed for its camera capabilities, thanks to a partnership with the renowned camera brand, Hasselblad.
- Operating System: Shipped with Android 11, overlaid with OnePlus’s OxygenOS 11.
- Display: 6.55-inch Fluid AMOLED with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels, supporting a 120Hz refresh rate.
- Processor: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888.
- Memory: Options of 8/12 GB RAM with 128/256 GB internal storage.
- Camera: Triple rear camera setup – 48 MP primary sensor, 50 MP ultrawide lens, and a 2 MP monochrome sensor. A 16 MP front camera. The camera system was co-developed with Hasselblad, emphasizing color accuracy and improvements in software processing.
- Battery: 4500 mAh non-removable battery with Warp Charge 65T fast charging.
- Other Features: In-display fingerprint scanner, 5G connectivity, stereo speakers, and an aluminum frame.
- Performance: The Snapdragon 888, combined with OxygenOS, ensured top-tier performance, making the device suitable for everything from daily tasks to gaming.
- Display: The 120Hz Fluid AMOLED display offered vibrant colors, deep blacks, and smooth animations.
- Fast Charging: Warp Charge 65T provided a rapid charging experience, with the ability to charge the device from 1% to 100% in around 29 minutes.
- Camera Improvements: The partnership with Hasselblad brought noticeable improvements in color accuracy and overall image processing.
- OxygenOS: Known for its near-stock experience, speed, and customization features, OxygenOS was a highlight for many users.
- Lack of Telephoto Lens: Unlike its Pro sibling, the OnePlus 9 lacked a dedicated telephoto lens.
- No Official IP Rating: While the device had some form of water resistance, it lacked an official IP rating for water and dust resistance (except for T-Mobile’s variant in the US).
- Plastic Frame: The frame, although looking metallic, was made of plastic, which felt less premium compared to the Pro version.
Comparisons to Other Technologies:
In 2021, the OnePlus 9 faced competition from various flagship devices:
- Samsung Galaxy S21: Samsung’s flagship with its Dynamic AMOLED display, versatile camera system, and One UI software.
- iPhone 12: Apple’s offering with its A14 Bionic chip, OLED display, and iOS ecosystem.
- Google Pixel 5: Known for its clean software, consistent updates, and camera capabilities.
The OnePlus 9 was announced in March 2021 and released later that month.
- Camera Expectations: While the Hasselblad partnership brought improvements, some users felt the camera system still lagged behind some competitors, especially in terms of versatility.
- Heating Issues: Some users reported the device getting warm, especially during intensive tasks or prolonged camera usage.
- Software Bugs: As with any device, some users encountered occasional software glitches, though OnePlus was relatively quick with updates to address reported issues.
The OnePlus 9 continued the brand’s tradition of offering high-end specifications at a competitive price point. With its focus on camera improvements through the Hasselblad partnership, it aimed to address one of the longstanding criticisms of OnePlus devices. While it made strides in this area, some felt there was still room for improvement. Overall, the OnePlus 9 offered a balanced package of performance, design, and features, making it a compelling choice for those seeking a flagship experience without the highest flagship price.